#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 521

Welcome back to the home of Paranormal & Dauntless Romance. Wow. Year 10. A whole decade. I’m astounded.

Today is Thursday and that means it’s time to start flashing, like we have for 10 whole years. It’s amazing we’ve gone this long! This is Week 521 of #ThursThreads, the challenge that ties tales together. Want to keep up each week? Check out the #ThursThreads #flashfiction group on Facebook and the Group on MeWe.

Need the rules? Read on.

Here’s how it works:

  • The prompt is a line from the previous week’s winning tale.
  • The prompt can appear ANYWHERE in your story and is included in your word count.
  • The prompt must be used as is. It can be split, but no intervening words can be inserted or tenses changed.

Rules to the Game:

  • This is a Flash Fiction challenge, which means your story must be a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 250.
  • The story must be new writing, not a snippet from something published elsewhere with the prompt added.
  • Incorporate the prompt anywhere into your story (included in your word count).
  • Post your story in the comments section of this post
  • Include your word count in the post (or be excluded from judging)
  • Include your Twitter handle or email in the post (so we don’t have to look for you)
  • The challenge is open 7 AM to 8 PM Mountain Time
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, depending on how early the judge gets up.

How it benefits you:

  • You get a nifty cool badge to display on your blog or site (because we’re all about promotion – you know you are!)
  • You get instant recognition of your writing prowess on this blog!
  • Your writing colleagues shall announce and proclaim your greatness on Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, and Google Plus, etc.

Our Judge for Week 521:

Fantasy Author, and Holder of Several Stories, David Ludwig.

Facebook | Twitter

And now your #ThursThreads Challenge, tying tales together.

The Prompt:

“One day at a time.”

All stories written herein are the property (both intellectual and physical) of the authors. Comments do not represent the views of the host and the host reserves the right to remove any content. Now, away with you, Flash Fiction Fanatics, and show us your #ThursThreads. Good luck!

23 Replies to “#ThursThreads – Tying Tales Together – Week 521”

  1. “They’re dead.” Her brother dropped to his knees in the sand. A wound laid open his shoulder, exposing a mass of vines beneath skin.

    Scarlet watched mists swirl into an impenetrable shield across the bay. “No, they’re merely forgotten… asleep. One day, they’ll come back to the world. They’re gods. They can’t really be killed. Even if all my priests are slain, someday a new acolyte will dream of me, spill blood upon the ground, and be inspired to say the right words.” Scarlet didn’t fear. She knew the future that would come. “One day at a time, one prayer at a time, the new priests will awaken our kin. Don’t fret.”
    She ran a hand over her bare, scarred head. “If we’re caught in the spell, it’ll be harder to wake them. Hunter?” She turned to look for her brother, the lord of the green ways. He lay nestled into a bed of ferns. “Are you going to fade out on me, too?”

    “No. I’m just going to sleep until I’m needed.”

    Scarlet wasn’t ready to sleep. They may have had to give up almost all their powers to save the world—this time—but that didn’t make her powerless. She had grieving and planning to do. And then there would be time for retribution.

    A lot of it.

    220 words
    @miya_kressin

    1. Love the perspective of gods sacrificing to save the world and then waiting to be rediscovered.

  2. Deliverance

    Harry Gaines wanted the news delivered in person. “Whatever it is,” he moaned, “I’d like it upfront.”

    I didn’t like doing hand deliveries of my investigative results. Particularly if it might set the client off. Gaines seemed like he had his head screwed on right, but anyone could go off their nut. Even me, I suppose. So, though I could have said, sorry, too busy, and sent him the photographs and the written report by e-mail, I still needed the final payment. So, that was what I told him. Have the cash or e-transfer first and I’d go out of my way to come over to his office and report in person.

    He’d followed through. $2000.00 had been deposited in my savings account.

    And here I was, sitting across from him at his desk.

    In his office trailer.

    It was Sunday. His construction company had been building a massive affordable housing project. Close to completion. It didn’t take much to see that he had a huge number of things on his mind.

    Money.

    Employees.

    Deadlines.

    And a cheating wife.

    He kept looking at the photos.

    They were explicit.

    No room for doubt.

    “Who is he? The guy?”

    “Look closely,” I said. “It’s different guys.”

    He rubbed his eyes.

    The air went out of his emotional tires.

    “What should I do?” he asked.

    Like I knew.

    So I said, “Take it one day at a time. No sudden moves.”

    I knew he wouldn’t.

    Couldn’t.

    It was bound to end badly.

    250 words
    @billmelaterplea

  3. “One day at a time”, I told myself . A year of not breaking down in public over the death of my husband the King. Tamping down my grief and anger, moving forward.
    I should remarry and have an heir. I knew my duty and I would do it eventually.
    The chancellor had requested a meeting this morning . I knew what he would propose and I was ready.
    Entering the room, the room hushed. I sat down; the reason I had been summoned becoming clear to all. They had decided that I was to marry, they’d even picked the groom, a friend of my husband they said. Preparations began immediately the wedding would take place in two days hence. I began my own preparations. I had after all expected this for over a year.
    The ceremony took place and I said the vows when he reached taking my hand in his I pulled the dagger from beneath my breasts and stabbed him through the heart. Blood dripped onto the white dress, they made me wear. The people in attendance looked aghast.
    “Sentence has been served. King David’s murderer is dead,” I shouted,
    My guards as I had ordered took Carrick’s people there into custody.
    “Long live Queen Gwendolyn, shouted my followers as others chimed in. It was done! My patience had paid off it only took one day at time plotting and planning lulling our enemy into complacency. No one would ever underestimate or oppose me again.
    248 words
    @SweetSheil

  4. “Do you ever think about tomorrow?”

    “In what way?”

    “Well, as in the future.”

    “Don’t you know, the future is now.”

    She rolled her eyes. “Don’t go all metaphysical on me. It doesn’t suit you.”
    “What? You don’t believe I’m a deep thinker?”

    “I think you are a man of action.”

    “Aye, lass, I am that.”

    “So you don’t think about…like…ever after?”

    Kin cut her a side-ways glance but Meg doggedly stared out over the city.

    “Are ya talkin’ about happily ever after?” His brogue thickened as his voice turned growly.

    She lifted one shoulder in a minimal shrug. “I like to plan ahead. I want to think about what tomorrow might bring, what might happen next year, and five years from now. I want to be prepared.” Now she did focus on him. “I’d think given what you do for a living, you’d think the same.”

    “No, lass. I live one day at a time. Tomorrow brings what it brings and next year? Or five years down the road? Considering my line of work, I’ll be lucky t’still be breathin’.”

    “Don’t say things like that!”

    “Tis true though.”

    Meg stared back out across the city’s ancient architecture. Silence enveloped them like a scratchy wool sweater—irritating but also a bit comforting. “Have you ever come close?”

    “T’what?”

    “To…dying.”

    “Yeah, I have. I’ve learned to live life t’it’s fullest and I plan t’keep doin’ it for the rest of m’life.”

    Her smile was bittersweet. “Sounds like plan.”
    ****
    250 Hard Target: Crossfire WIP words
    @SilverJames_

  5. “No one dragged your ass all this way. You could be at home, pampered and adored as you expect, not having to experience hardship. But you decided to follow me. Stop whining about what you chose to do!”

    Terim stopped, his chest heaving and his hands in fists. Majir gaped at him, his mouth hanging open with surprise. Terim had never let loose his frustrations on anyone before.

    “Fair points all, Terim.” Kulastri nodded as she handed him some of the travel bread. “You must remember that we are on a journey, Blacksmith’s son. This isn’t a holiday or a frivolous jaunt. The treasure you assume Terim is searching for is knowledge and skills beyond what he’s already learned. If you want that, want to learn to be more than a blacksmith’s son, you may continue with us. But if you don’t like traveling, don’t like learning, wish to be a pampered boy with no other skills, then I suggest you pack your belongings, and we shall point you toward home. The choice is yours, Blacksmith’s son.”

    Majir blinked before his face resumed its frown. “Why do you call me ‘blacksmith’s son’? I have a name.”

    “So you do, but you haven’t earned my respect enough to make the effort.” Kulastri shrugged. “What will you choose to do?”

    Majir’s gaze moved from Kulastri to Terim and back. “I want to stay and learn, Torsha.”

    She nodded sharply. “Good. We will take it one day at a time.”

    247 ineligible #LOTN words
    @SiobhanMuir

    1. I loved this with the great high fantasy vibes! Fascinating to me, calling a blacksmith’s son’s life pampered, but I supposed compared to adventuring it would be. Great characters that I want to know more about them and their stories. I especially like Kulastri in this scene.

  6. This is the way the world ends, one generation at a time. Most people have no idea that anything is happening, the process is so slow. But the things that are supposed to be passed down aren’t and the things that are supposed to go away stay. And the end approaches.

    This is the way the world ends, one year at a time. Some start to notice – we hear friends and loved ones talking about how the past year was the worst one ever and maybe next year will be better. But if you cry out that the end is coming, you’ll be largely ignored as people go to work and school and eat and fuck and die. And the end approaches faster.

    This is the way the world ends, one week at a time. People – some people, anyway – notice, but they’re so consumed by bouncing from crisis to disaster to crisis that they can’t act in any collective ways. And so they work and fuck and go to class and die, but none of it, not one thing is really okay. The faint (really, is it faint or do we not want to hear) sound of the end coming is everywhere.

    This is the way the world ends, one day at a time. So many things, so many places, so many people are on fire that even the protected people and places and things feel the heat. “Why didn’t anyone warn us the end was coming,” the people cry.

    250 words
    @drmag00

  7. Timothy Cushionsoft clasped his paws together. He nodded at his mother, his eyes dark and his stomach rumbling.

    “You want some ham and eggs?” she asked, stirring the contents of the pan. She shook her ladle over his plate, dropping a thick blob of food onto it.

    “Can I have a little more,” he said. “That’s not nearly enough for a growing bear.”

    #

    The nursery was full of shadows. Metallic rats glowered from its corners, hungry for the few scraps he’d not eaten. One snapped at his feet, and he shrank away, its jaws clanging shut just clear of his toes. He dropped the spoon he’d been using, losing the last bite of his breakfast. His mother had left him alone by then, busying herself somewhere else in the house.

    “A bear like you is vulnerable,” the Rat King said, emerging like a wraith from the gloom. “And there are so many of us, and we’re all hungry. Now, what would you like to suggest?”

    Timothy thought for a moment. He sat down and sucked at his thumb. He pondered and scratched at his head, dislodging some stuffing that had escaped from a seam behind his ear.

    “I could give you what’s left of my breakfast,” he said. “At least for today. But then we’ll have to barter and take it one day at a time.”

    The Rat King snarled a malevolent grin. “You’ll need to do better than that,” he said. “But we can discuss that over lunch.”

    250 words – twothirdzrasta.blogspot.com

  8. The way to a man’s heart…?
    “I’m as hungry as a horse!” he shouted in his broken English.
    “You mean you could eat a horse?” The server re-set the dial on the microwave oven, and turned to face him.
    “Yes. Yes. I could eat a horse.” He beamed as she stared back in awe at his handsome features. “Keep it simple this time!”
    He had been coming in every late evening for more than a month now, and they had established a system. He was her culinary guinea pig. She could satisfy her cordon bleu and haute cuisine ambitions, while he enjoyed good food at reasonable prices.
    She scoured kitchen shelves, reaching high to get the free range eggs, locating some thyme among the herbs in a cupboard, agonising over whether to use the parsley she more frequently employed in her meals too. She located two lamb cutlets in the freezer, vacuum-sealed as if awaiting her big moment.
    She watched him through the opening between the kitchen and the dining area as he leafed through a newspaper while she set to work.
    Fifteen minutes later she emerged again with plates. An assortment of vegetables and the pair of lamb chops were accompanied by a side of toast and asparagus tips.
    After studying the dishes, he glanced at her face. The food was simple compared to her previous offerings.
    “No Bechamel sauce?” he asked, surprised.
    She laughed and shrugged.
    “You said keep it simple. Well? One day at a time.”
    @ragtaggiggagon 249 words

  9. Hitting the novice hero with full force didn’t feel right. It wasn’t like when Pigita hit Jian and risked breaking her own bones in the process. But still not right.

    POW!

    Pigita flew from the full force of her double axe handle punch returning to her chin with the teenage bimbette’s single uppercut. The supervillain barely landed on her feet, laughing and rubbing her jaw.

    “Hey! I’ve heard of you! You’re that new kid… Kinetica? Folks are saying you’ll be the next Jian!”

    “I don’t think anyone can fill those shoes,” Kinetica smiled, “But I’m more than a match for you!”

    Pigita pouted, “Don’t tell me you haven’t figured out who I am yet! That ain’t nice.”

    Pigita’s beast wanted out. She fought it down. The rookie wasn’t ready, and Pigita wanted this to last. Unfortunately, now that the villain knew the hero’s Power, the fight was basically over. Pigita watched the humor drain from her opponent’s face as the tide turned decidedly against the hero.

    “Not so easy without my own strength to throw back at me, is it?”

    “I can still win!”

    “Not today.”

    Pigita ripped a suitable amount of rebar out of a nearby building. Kinetica was on her stomach before she knew what hit her, sobbing as Pigita hogtied her in the middle of the ruined intersection.

    “How can you live with yourself, using your Power to hurt people like this?”

    “One day at a time, Sugar. Find me again when you make the big time.”

    250 INELIGIBLE PRUDENT words
    @DavidALudwig

  10. Served Cold

    Cal paid his $20 and joined the ‘Haunted New Orleans’ tour. He sometimes found the tour entertaining, but tonight, he had another purpose.

    It was one thing to take people’s money for a walk through history and quite another to take their lives. Which was exactly what someone on this tour was doing.

    The first part of the tour included a visit to Madame Leveau’s grave. As always he left an offering at the site when no one was looking.

    Even as he left the small token, he shivered. He paused, knowing he never felt threatened by Madam Leveau’s ghost. He was, after all her servitor.

    No. Someone was following him. Part one accomplished.

    As they moved through the historical district, the itch became an ache. He was close now.

    And then, Daniel Fairchild slid into the group and smiled at him.

    Cal was almost disappointed when Daniel blew his ‘zombie’ powder into his face.

    Cal felt the effects immediately, his pulse racing and then slowing, as the drugs took effect. It could have killed him. It should have killed him, but instead, Cal tilted his head as he analyzed the ‘spell.’

    “Cocaine, crystal meth, and bath salts?” he demanded. “Really? That your magic powder? You really think that gonna hurt me?”

    He asked as he slapped an envelope into Daniel’s hands. “Daniel Fairchild, you been served.”

    ‘The things I do for you Grandmere,’ he sighed.

    Her answer hung in the air, “one day at a time.”

    247 Words (not including title)
    @mishmhem

  11. The sun is shining, birds chirping, my garden looks good. All flowers have bloomed, the vegetables are growing. There is some beneficial rain in the forecast for tonight. I do love a good thunderstorm, especially when it is not aimed at me.

    I attempted to stop my retirement all together. Being the One True Death has a timeline. So, I gave up my fight and installed my replacement. I will admit she is doing a great job, as reluctant as she was to take over.

    I have found plenty of hobbies, working in my garden, exploring photography. Perhaps my one-time Deather turned third in command, who has aimed a thunderstorm at me, influenced me more than I realized. So, one day at a time, I nurture my garden, then photograph the various pollinators that wander by.

    I have family nearby. My father was Death for two hundred years before me and his retirement home is down the road. We visit often and it is nice to know he thinks I did a good job as the One True Death. It is a tough job and not one that many are qualified to do. Being in charge of the fate of all humanity wears on a person.

    But now, as I settle into my garden, watching a black and yellow bumble bee lazily buzz around, I find retirement is not so bad. I might even call it relaxing, as my skeletal fingers clip a dried petunia bloom.

    @Aightball
    246 words

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